Letters to the Editor

George Rebane: Mr. McClintock's sound judgment

April 27, 2015 — 

In his column, George Boardman’s April 20 attack on Tom McClintock for voting his principles on the HR-2 Medicare’s “Doc Fix” bill is a bit specious.

The congressman voted against it only for the reason that it would add $141 billion to the annual deficit with no offset spending cuts. Our $18 trillion debt was accrued bit by piece over the years using the exact same excuses.

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Itara O'Connell: The state of care givers

April 27, 2015 — 

Having been a care giver for most of my life, I’d like to thank Lynn Wenzel for her thorough historical perspective and powerful article about the state of care givers in America and for reminding us that it is time to value care givers by paying them a living wage.

As we get to the age when we will be the recipients of care, I’m sure that we’d each like someone consistent and trustworthy to assist us, we’d like affordable medications and to stay in the comfort of our home. This minimal level of care will only be possible if we act to make it happen. In my opinion, it’ll be worth the effort.

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Ron Spiller: Congressional sellout

April 27, 2015 — 

Amy Goodman’s comments in the April 23 issue of The Union about the “gyrocopter” that penetrated the no-fly zone at the capitol grounds are a sad commentary on the state of our democracy.

The Supreme Court decision that legitimized Citizens United and further eroded the relationship between individual citizens and the people elected to represent them in Congress was a cynical denial of the one man-one vote principle, and cedes disproportionate influence to special interest groups, large corporations and other centers of wealth who seek to control legislation.

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Lynn Lorensen: About those boundary drop obligations

April 25, 2015 — 

As a county Consolidated district resident I resent the City of Nevada City wanting a free ride on my tax dollar. Consolidated residents can face a rise in insurance rates because of the poor management of Nevada City.

Nevada City needs a tax base. There is no Fairy Godmother to fund the fire station. Heaven forbid there would be any industry, as a truck might drive down the road and cause noise and pollution. No chain stores, even small ones, like Beach Hut Deli. Day tourists only. No home based business either. Perhaps The City Of Nevada City should be a gated community. Look to Houston, Texas as a model for enterprise.

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Vicki Banister: Single payer system inadequate

April 25, 2015 — 

In her letter published April 21 regarding the cost of health care and the cost benefits of a single payer system, Robin Wallace failed to mention that many, if not most people on Medicare feel the need to purchase supplemental insurance or a Medicare Advantage Plan, which are both offered by private insurance companies.

In addition, to the point she made about universal health care in other countries, we lived in Australia for more than three years and many of our Australian friends had private insurance because they felt the government plan was inadequate.

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Paul Pease: How about a 'Water Savior' project?

April 24, 2015 — 

When it comes to the California drought and nearby drought-stricken states, I have an idea that can be beneficial to drought stricken areas and also flooded regions.

My idea would be to run a pipeline from rivers in flooded regions to California so farmers can once again raise vegetable and fruit crops, raise cattle, sheep, pigs, horses, goats and other animals. People could water their plants and no longer be slaves of water regulations. Homeowners inside flood areas won’t have to worry about losing their homes and cars or have to worry about floods and depend on state and federal funding for disaster relief.

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Cathy Fagan: Thank you, NID

April 24, 2015 — 

I would like to commend NID for their swift action in resolving our water meter problem.

We are diligently trying to conserve water, and NID worked with us when we discovered our water usage was above normal use. Our goal is to use less than 100 gallons per day and to convert our landscape to drought tolerant plants.

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Ellen Persa: Kudos to generous donors!

April 24, 2015 — 

The Penn Valley Community Foundation recently received a wonderful donation of office furniture and equipment from Belden (Grass Valley Group) with the assistance of Daniel and James Ketcham and the Nevada County Historical Society.

All items will be used in the future Penn Valley Community Center. Until then, Gladys Martines and Penn Valley Mini Storage are supplying temporary storage of the items. As plans for the new Community Center come together — and as usual — our community steps up when needed! PVCF thanks everyone for their generous support.

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Bill Trzeciak: Let Them Eat Cake ... or Not

April 23, 2015 — 

It was Marie Antoinette who said it first

But Kansas state Reps who turned the phrase worst.

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Amanda Wilcox: Majority of gun owners support background checks

April 23, 2015 — 

Regarding the letter to the editor, “Who really needs a semiautomatic weapon?” published on April 17 in The Union, the letter writer believes that her views are in the minority, but, in fact, she is actually in the majority.

For the last 50 years, poll after poll has shown that the majority of Americans oppose a gun ban, but overwhelmingly support gun control measures. Republican Frank Luntz and his polling firm, the Word Doctors, have conducted several polls finding that NRA members and other Americans who own guns show strong support for a number of sensible gun laws that keep guns out of the hands of criminals. In May 2012, Luntz found that 82 percent of gun owners support background checks for all gun sales. Since the shooting at Sandy Hook School, numerous polls indicate that 85 to 92 percent of Americans support background checks.

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Pat Lane: World War II internment camps not comparable to Holocaust, slavery

April 22, 2015 — 

A recent article in the Sacramento Bee told of protests against a New Jersey auction of Japanese American artifacts from World War II internment camps. A spokesperson compared camp prisoners to Holocaust victims, American slaves and displaced American Indians. I’d like to shed a little light on that. World War II Japanese American internment camps provided privacy for families, hot and cold running water, gardens, three meals a day, medical care, freedom to move about, social clubs, entertainment, Scout troops, craft shops, athletic teams (with equipment) and warm clothing. Slaves and the victims of the Holocaust did not have those luxuries and American Indians were forced to leave their homes and burial grounds.

And let me tell you about my grandparents who were interned by the Imperial Japanese army in the Philippines for three years. Beatings, mutilations and killings were de regueur. No food was provided for the first six months and then it was livestock field rice with weevils and soup with fish heads. Women were separated from men and given a 3-foot by 6-foot space on the floor to call their own. Three squares of toilet paper were allowed. No radios or cameras were permitted, on pain of death if discovered. Abortions were demanded of any woman who became pregnant.

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Susan Perry: British aren't but someone else could be

April 22, 2015 — 

In answer to Miriam Martin’s question, no one needs a semiautomatic firearm. Just like no one needs a full set of golf clubs, or a new car, or the next big thing from Apple. As a law-abiding citizen, I am allowed to purchase any firearm that is legal in California.

When I do make that purchase from a legal source, I am subjected to a waiting period and a background check. You ask for more laws. Detroit, Chicago and Washington D.C. have the strictest gun laws in the country and yet people are killed there everyday. How does that happen? They have gun laws! Because the criminals obtain firearms illegally. A criminal will not subject himself to a background check, or waiting period. The laws that are already on the books need to be enforced consistently.

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Karen Lauterbach: Nevada Union's 'Grease' a 'don't miss' event

April 22, 2015 — 

Come see the musical “Grease” at Nevada Union High School on April 24, 25, 30, May 1 and 2 at 7 p.m. and May 2 at 2 p.m. also at the Don Baggett Theater. The rehearsals are coming along great and the drama students are in top form. They’ve worked hard to make this a truly memorable production. This is a “don’t miss” event.

Karen Lauterbach

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Dottie Smith: Thank you, Taco Bell

April 21, 2015 — 

My husband and I went to Taco Bell last week as he had a craving for Mexican food. He recently had a major heart operation and wasn’t eating well.

I took the tacos home in a bag — and noticed upon arriving home that I wasn’t carrying my purse. The purse was turned in to the manager and she placed it in the safe.

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Robin Wallace: The cost of health care

April 21, 2015 — 

Harry Wyeth’s recent letter asks for information about how other wealthy countries manage health care and how much it costs.

The answer: by implementing a single-payer system which costs less than half of what our country spends with its for-profit health care system.

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Clay Schmidt: Call 811 before you dig

April 20, 2015 — 

It may seem hard to believe that an underground utility line — such as a gas pipe or a water line — is damaged every six minutes in America because someone didn’t take the time to call 8-1-1. Last year, there were 83 instances of such damage to PG&E facilities throughout the Sierra Division, which includes El Dorado, Placer, Nevada, Sierra, Yuba and Sutter counties. And with spring well upon us and green thumbs around the Sierra Foothills mapping out their flower beds, we want to remind our customers of the importance of safe-digging and calling 8-1-1 before you start your project.

A simple, toll-free call to the Underground Service Alert (USA) program, will notify local utility companies of your intention to dig and utilities, like PG&E, will locate and mark underground lines and pipes. Planting a tree? Installing a fence? Trenching? Utility lines and pipes need to be properly marked because even when digging only a few inches, the risk of striking an underground utility line still exists.

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Richard Bell: 'Fair tax' not fair

April 20, 2015 — 

Before campaigning for a supposed “fair tax” (the 17 percent flat variety), Fran Freedle (Other Voices, April 13) needs a better understanding of what she’s proposing, of the difference between simpler and fairer, and of who would benefit from such a change.

How, for example, would Freedle’s proposed 17 percent flat tax affect 2014 joint filers with a taxable income of $70,000 (taxable, that is, after subtracting for the standard deduction — $12,400 — and personal exemptions of $3,950 each)?

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Michelle Newbon: Embezzling? You'll get caught eventually

April 20, 2015 — 

Regarding the several embezzlement convictions lately, including Waste Management and two involving school funds ... for those embezzling now — just give it up already, it’s clear you’ll get caught eventually, the gig is up.

Think about it — is it really worth it? From what’s been said about these cases, it’s not about putting food on the table or being in dire need (not that that condones it), the stealing in these cases has been about greed — having “more money” and buying stuff. Don’t throw your life away; and more importantly have some respect for the hard work other people have done to earn that money. Try it sometimes, otherwise prison will be the place you figure it out.

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Arline Kenney: Vintage Fashion Show a success

April 20, 2015 — 

Thank you to the many who attended the educational and humorous Vintage Fashion Show and Luncheon on Saturday, April 11, sponsored by American Legion Auxiliary Unit 130. Thank you to those who joined the Auxiliary in making it an enjoyable event, including commentator and models of “Fashion Memories,” members of Post 130 and Legion Riders, Chef Ross and his all-veteran crew, the young women of the Friendship Club and their leader Denise, the Nevada Union Interact Club and their president, Girls State Citizen Eden Baker, The Union, KNCO and KVMR.

Because of your participation, Frank Gallino Unit 130 will be able to fund the Girls State program, scholarships, children and youth program, community service program, local veterans, and boxes for our deployed military.

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Bill Neville: Is there a connection here?

April 18, 2015 — 

Is there a connection between Nevada City bed and breakfast permits and a fire station brown-out? As I understand the April 9 story regarding NC Council actions, the council has adopted ordinances/policies:

• Prohibiting any future establishment and perhaps closing existing bed and breakfast facilities.

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Melissa Hawk: Fight for your child's education

April 18, 2015 — 

Common Core testing begins soon and I, a parent of three children in the Nevada City School District, am ever so frustrated with the over complicated math and one-sided history and science curriculum, that so obviously pushes the liberal agenda.

Our many parental concerns and meetings were glossed over and now we bend over backwards to help our children learn something we ourselves can’t hardly grasp. The fight is happening across the country. Parents and entire schools are opting out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Testing. While this won’t solve our Common Core dilemma, it will certainly make our fight against the standards known.

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Charles Shawcross: Young pianist to perform at Holbrooke Hotel

April 17, 2015 — 

On July 21, 2011, you printed an article on your front page about a young pianist James Pavel Shawcross after he had won a national title in Las Vegas.

When he was 8, he played at the Sacramento Ragtime Society as well as the Sacramento Jazz Society (tailgate room). In the four years that have followed, he has gained international attention through Internet sites like Fandalism, which is like YouTube for musicians.

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Miriam Martin: Who really needs a semiautomatic weapon?

April 17, 2015 — 

A recent issue of The Union had an advertising insert from Cabela’s that advertised a semiautomatic rifle and other high powered rifles. It just offends me and hopefully others. We read daily about shootings of a police officer or innocent bystander or child.

It sickens me that we don’t have more gun laws in the USA but the NRA has such power over most people. They feel their rights are taken away, but what about the lives that are taken away with the gun that shot them?

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Terry Armor: Thank you, Drew!

April 17, 2015 — 

Drew, you were a knight in snowy armor on Tuesday, when you came out of your warm safe truck to rescue a stalled car on the Ridge Road hill! You took charge of the situation and the safety of the players, creating a safe haven during a stressful few hours of weather, and making it a memorable event to reflect on. You are so appreciated; any mother would be proud! Looking forward to enjoying your organic fare this summer at the Nevada City and Rood Center farmers markets!

Terry Armor

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Lee Hicks: Court system needs to seek truth in child pornography cases

April 16, 2015 — 

The April 7 issue of The Union features two Nevada County criminal cases involving child pornography.

In one, two children of a convicted child pornographer chastise the court for shortening the sentence of their father, their molester. This father of eight children, six of them adopted, was convicted of 16 charges of molesting and filming children ages 1 to 3. Nicholas Ponce, his father’s victim, describes his own young life as ruined. The reduction of the sentence of Luis Ponce based on a technicality has revictimized the victims of this pornographer. His son warns of the potential of his father to reoffend.

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Joyce Hoffman: Who needs enemies with a friend like this?

April 16, 2015 — 

In his Other Voices column, Steve Enos alluded to The Vatican, Elvis and John Steinbeck. He did so to distract from any negative intentions he had in submitting his anonymous letter, which led to the investigation of Terry Lamphier.

The Vatican is a beautiful city with some of the finest Italian Renaissance art. Elvis still has a lot of fans who love him. Steinbeck was one of our greatest authors. I am insulted that he would use them to add levity and sarcasm to what is, in my opinion, a tragedy.

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Donald Ringen: Don't take away the Stretch IRA

April 15, 2015 — 

President Obama’s budget proposals for the 2016 fiscal year once again called for the elimination of the Stretch IRA.

Why would President Obama want to take away one of the few retirement vehicles that helps the middle class in retirement?

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Mike Hauser: Lunchtime automotive event an educational experience

April 15, 2015 — 

Thanks for your recent story on the Nevada Union Automotive team competition. It was the Roamin’ Angels’ intent by staging a lunchtime event to highlight their accomplishments.

We brought in several race cars and the experts that build and race them, including NU Alumni. Everyone was welcome to climb in, take pictures and in the end celebrate the noise when we lit them up. It was also important to our members that the crowd of kids and staff visiting our displays understood the importance of what they study and teach. Math, art, science even history and English are what we apply to our passions, those vehicles and our hobby.

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Chris Kane: One problem for letter writer

April 15, 2015 — 

Mr. Tope’s recent letter to the editor states that because of not enrolling in the Affordable Care Act, he has lost a portion of his tax refund despite having kept his Medicare, kept his supplemental insurance, and kept his doctor. One problem — he also kept his accountant.

Chris Kane

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Bev Warnecke: A good ACA experience

April 15, 2015 — 

My daughter in San Francisco was ecstatic when I prepared her 2014 tax return. After putting info into Turbo Tax from her 1095A Health Insurance Market Place Statement, up popped a credit of almost $1,500. Seems she paid too much health care premiums based on her self-employment income. Much of the problem people seem to be having this year is in the reporting of their health care.

In order to avoid the penalty, you do not have to purchase health insurance on the California Marketplace. Your health insurance can be purchased from any source. And while we are limited to health insurance providers in Nevada County, my insurance agent found me a very good Medicare Supplemental Insurance Plan F that is just at $90 a quarter for age 79.

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